Norway is, easily, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe I’ve ever visited. I’ve only seen Oslo, and a small village a few hours north of it, but I still stand by that statement. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone dismiss a holiday to Norway because it’s “too expensive”. Yes, it’s rated one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that doesn’t mean a holiday there will break the budget. When I visited earlier in the month, I was surprised to find out that holidaying in Norway isn’t always as expensive as I’d thought. Read on to find out how you can travel Oslo on a budget.
1. Flights to Oslo are cheap!
Check out Norwegian Air, Ryanair and EasyJet for budget flights to and within Norway – you’ll be surprised at how cheaply you can find even long haul flights! They fly frequently, and morning or evening flights are always the cheapest. When we travelled to Oslo, my friend booked 4 weeks in advance and got her return flight for £13. Learn to pack in a carry-on (let’s be honest, this is a skill in itself), and you’re good to go!
2. It’s beautiful everywhere
You can basically fly into any part of Norway and experience its natural beauty, including Oslo. Seriously – I’m not even joking – the whole country is gorgeous! You don’t have to travel far to find picturesque scenery, so I guarantee you’ll come back with an Insta feed to make your friends jealous.
3. It’s a walking city
One thing I loved about Oslo, and that made it a great city for a budget city escape, was that the city was incredibly walkable. Some areas – such as Holmenkollen and the museums – are slightly further out than others, but you could easily see some of the highlights on foot. For other sights, I was impressed by how affordable public transport was in Oslo. (Perhaps I’m slightly biased in that statement, having lived in London!)
You can get a 24 hour travel pass for zone 1 (aka basically everywhere you’ll want to go, besides the airport) for just £9! You can get these in any train station and at a few of the large bus stops, so they’re easy to come by. For 24 hours, you can get on as many trams, trains, buses and ferries as you need – you can even visit the Oslo fjords for free! The best part is, if you time your journeys well, you can even squeeze in a free bonus trip the next morning before the pass expires.
Also, if you can cycle (confession: I can’t), you can rent a bike quite cheaply too. It’s a popular way for the locals to travel, and a great way to see the city (and enjoy the ridiculously clean air). I wouldn’t recommend it in winter, though.
4. The best things to do in Oslo are free
The fjords, the Opera house, Vigeland park, Bygdoy island and the botanical gardens, to name a few. They’re all completely free (and ridiculously gorgeous). Make the most of these sights and experience the breathtaking beauty of the city! You can also take the train through some picturesque mountains to Tryvann, or go for a hike. Let’s be honest, most people come to Norway for the nature – enjoy it.
5. Snow sports are surprisingly cheap
We were looking to go skiing in France, Italy, Austria .. all the usual places, but were shocked to see how expensive a ski pass and ski rental for a few days can become. Surprisingly, we discovered that Oslo has really cheap skiing! We went for two days in Oslo Winterpark, and had the most amazing time. Pro skiers will be bored on the one black slope, but it’s perfect for beginners and amateurs.
One of my favourite budget-friendly activities in Olso, and something I will be recommending to friends for years to come, is to go sledding down Korketrekkeren. It’s a 2km run that was built for the 1952 winter Olympics. The slope starts by the Frognerseteren station, nearby which you can rent sleds for the whole day. We rented two family-sized ones to fit the four of us, and it came to just £24! It takes you all the way down to the Midstuen metro station, and then you can take the train back up to go again. The run takes around 8-10 minutes, though it’ll take longer if you’re a scaredy cat like me and keep slowing down. Don’t forget your GoPro, because you can get up to speeds of 180kmph in the corners!
Overall, I seriously loved my visit to Oslo, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Norway. It’s a beautiful country, and can definitely be travelled on a budget – don’t let people tell you otherwise! Have you been to Norway, and are you thinking of going?
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